The 2019 NBA Trade Deadline hits on February 7th, and ESPN analyst Bobby Marks suggests that the Portland Trail Blazers might be willing to put future draft picks in play this season to strengthen their lineup. In an article running down the trade prospects for all 30 NBA franchises (subscription required), Marks offers a quote from President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey from last summer, reflecting on the 2017-18 season:
Here is what the Portland GM shared with ESPN at the May 2018 draft combine regarding the 2017-18 season:
”I think probably one of the things we were a little too conservative with this offseason and at the trade deadline was we were probably far too protective of our draft pick and our trade exceptions and the tools we had to continue to build the roster long-term,” Olshey said. “And maybe [we] lost sight of the fact that the first round was going to be more competitive than we expected.”
Now with a 15-11 record and in a Western Conference that is 14 teams deep, will Portland take an aggressive approach at the deadline? The last time the Blazers traded a first-rounder at the deadline was 2016, when they acquired veteran Arron Afflalo.
The trade in question actually came in February of 2015 when the Blazers sent Will Barton, Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson, and a 2016 first-round pick to the Denver Nuggets for Afflalo and Alonzo Gee.